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Friday, June 6, 2014

Gay pride

Just read an article about a high school principal in Washington DC coming out as a gay man during Pride Day. His exact words: "I'm a proud gay man who just happens to be principal of Wilson High School."

I've never quite gotten these declarations. What is it exactly that he's so proud of? That he finds men more attractive than women? That he likes to put his lips around other men's penises?

I'm sure Mr. Pete Cahall, a former wrestling coach, has much to be proud of, not least his successful career as an educator. But is one's taste in sexual partners really a reason for pride?

I'm not suggesting that heterosexuals should be proud of their sexuality, either. For instance, I'm not proud of the fact that I prefer slender women to fat women; it's just a matter of taste, something I have no control over. It's like preferring strawberry ice cream to mocha chip.

If I'd preferred fat women, I probably would have enjoyed a better sex life, since more of them are available. And if I'd preferred men to women I would have had a much better sex life. But, the choice wasn't mine.

I understand that the real message behind these types of statements is that one shouldn't have to be ashamed and live in a closet because of one's sexuality. That, I agree with. No one can help whom they're attracted to. But to say that one is proud of one's carnal desires is ridiculous; pride is an emotion that ought to be reserved for actual accomplishments.

Had Mr. Cahall been more specific in his coming out statement, its ridiculousness would have been more apparent:

"I'm proud of the fact that men give me a boner but women don't."

"I'm proud of the fact that I used to jerk off thinking about my high school wrestlers."

"I'm proud of the fact that breasts and vaginas don't do a thing for me."

"I'm proud of the fact that I prefer hairy asses to hairless ones."

"I'm proud of the fact that my behind is open for business."

This is, after all, what he is saying.

Maybe he shouldn't have to be ashamed of these things. But they don't really strike me as causes for pride.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So true, how can people be proud of their sexual orientation ?

Paavo said...

He didn't say that he is proud because he is gay, but that he is proud gay man.

My brother just came out of the closet proclaiming in his facebook status that he is happy and self-confident even though he is gay and his face is crooked.

I believe both wanted to express the same thing: self-acceptance after years of shame, that they can be proud and gay at the same time.

Because western cultural elites are so pro-homo it can be difficult to appreciate that reactions of the common people, grandparents, hillbilly cousins, religious relatives still frighten and cause shame. Sexuality has been a cause of shame and confusement for me as a straight guy in a secular nordic society.

My brother mentioned his crooked face. He has fought, doubted and researched his homosexuality and the fact that homosexuality(like left-handedness) seems to be linked to some developmental insult and thus correlates with asymmetrical face seems to have made him think that homosexuality is linked with inferiority and his shame about his asymmetrical hairline is linked with his homosexuality and any other physical and psychological imperfection or anomaly. It's of course what finding that sort of correlations means, but can be hard to deal with on personal level.

Homosexuality is a big deal and a very socially visible one. So when you have fought to accept your shortcomings and finally accept yourself, homosexuality becomes the first thing you flaunt, because it was one of the hardest things to accept.


John Craig said...

Paavo --
You're right: saying "I'm a proud gay man" is not quite the same as saying "I'm proud to be gay." But the expression "gay pride" does connote pride in being gay, and in all those gay pride parades they do flaunt their sexuality and imply that they're proud to be gay. Plus, Mr. Cahall came out on "Pride Day," which also implies pride in being gay.

As I said in the post, I agree that being gay should not be a reason for stigma or shame. And you make a good point about the difference between the Western cultural elites and the masses. I was just making a point about what should be a matter of pride.

I"ve never heard before that homosexuality is linked with things like an asymmetrical face. There are plenty of very good-looking gays, in fact I've heard women complain in the past that the best-looking guys are gay. That aside, I fully sympathize with the tortured souls who struggle with their sexuality, and I think gay liberation is basically a good thing. I was just making a point about the use of the word "pride."

Shaun F said...

John - "No one can help whom they're attracted to."

I'm not sure about that. I've seen and known (like well enough to know their childhood, abou t their parents, previous relations, drugs habits) both females and males who had children change/have their sexual preference changed. However, I will also mention that some of these people have been quite emotionally immature, some bordering on narcissism, or have suffered some other kind of emotional pain in their lives creating a certain vulnerability and insecurity. Just basically damaged goods. Maybe they just clinged to whatever was thrown to them. I just don't know.

John Craig said...

Shaun --
I like your doubt. Here's a Bertrand Russell quote on the subject:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

I would say, in response to your comment, that people who "change" their sexuality are in a different category than gays or lesbians. Some are genuine bisexuals, although I'd also add that I think that category is, at least among males, rarer than claimed. I had a gay friend once who told me, back in the 70's, "Bisexual is a big lie. It's just guys who've managed to get it up for a woman once or twice thinking that somehow makes them more socially acceptable."

But overall, the people you're describing sound disturbed, a category I wouldn't put most gays in.

Paavo said...

"I"ve never heard before that homosexuality is linked with things like an asymmetrical face."

It's a statistical correlation. Not too strong. Left-handedness and homosexuality are correlated. Homosexuality and counterclockwise hair-whorl direction are correlated. Left-handedness is correlated with neurological problems and earlier mortality. Probably homosexuality too, but publishing about is more risky. Homosexual men are on average shorter.

Of course this doesn't mean that my homosexual brother isn't taller, more handsome and more dexterous than me with my symmetrical but ugly face.

Steven said...

I agree that it's not really something to be proud of but as you touched on, the real point is to counteract all the messages that you should be ashamed to be gay, to give people the confidence to be themselves, saying you can see it as something positive, not negative. Also is it not possible to feel proud of something you are as well as something you did? Feelings are not rational and pride is an egocentric emotion. Maybe you can feel proud of something you are and didn't choose simply because you think it is a good or superior thing to be or are told so. It could even be a psychological trait like intelligence. By the same token you can irrationally feel ashamed to be something because you are told it is bad repeatedly. I'm not sure but it sort of makes sense to me.

Steven said...

If people think of themselves as wise, they can feel proud of that. That's kind of pride in something you are although I guess it's also something you achieved through effort. Strange one that.

John Craig said...

Paavo --
Very interesting. I'd heard about left-handedness and homosexuality; hadn't heard about counter-clockwise hair whorls. The height thing rings true, now that you mention it; I seem to have known a lot of short-ish homosexual men. I've also noticed that gay men tend to have fuller lips. Both height and lip fullness are evidently also correlated with sex hormones, not surprisingly.

John Craig said...

Steven --
We agree, the real message is simply that gays shouldn't have to live their lives ashamed of who they are and hiding who they are. But, as always, the liberals and the liberal media went too far, and now you're supposed to be PROUD to be gay, which is just silly.

You're absolutely right about pride being an emotion and emotions not being rational. And now that I think of it, I too have been proud about things I haven't earned. (But my sexuality is not one of them.)

You make an interesting distinction between intelligence (unearned) and wisdom (which IS earned, through experience). Then again, it's easier to achieve wisdom if you're more intelligent. So where does that leave us?

Glen Filthie said...

Contrary to Paavo I am not a hillbilly, or a Person Of Walmart or a 'hater'. I am a man of practicality, science and common sense. And I call bullshit on gay pride and homosexuality in general.
What goes on in the gay bars and bath houses is immoral, unhealthy and wrong. Only an idiot would defend that. The lewd parades with fetish gear? The floppy, ugly topless lesbians? Grown men in diapers waving rubber dildoes around? That behaviour belongs in an asylum or the bedroom if your tastes run that way. I have seen the non-science driving the gay agenda the same way it drives global warming.
My own daughter is gay. When she came out of the closet she did it in the most insulting way possible. I won't get into all of it, but she told me that I was an abusive son of a bitch because I didn't cheerlead for gays, and that going forward, when they were in my house - she and her ugly girlfriend would tell me what I could say, what I could think, what jokes were funny and which weren't, etc etc. She told the relatives and in laws a pack of lies about me and her mother. Those close to us saw through them immediately. Distant acquaintances think we are homophobes and child abusers.
You MIGHT have a case for accepting their orientation (I don't think so - but that's just me) - but only an idiot will try to rationalize the other classic destructive gay behaviours.
If homosexuality was so healthy and wonderful, they wouldn't need outright fascist tactics to promote it. I have seen those people line up ten deep behind sensors, propagandists and cultural Marxists. I resent the brow beating, the shaming and the other half wit tactics employed against me and against common sense and decency. You can say what you want, Paavo - but I am not going into that closet because you and my daughter have no morals and ethics.
I don't think gays should be beaten up or harassed - but we shouldn't be encouraging it or pushing it at the kids. I can tell you as a parent of a queer that this is not good for them.

Rebecca said...

You say that pride ought to be reserved for actual accomplishments, which makes sense. But for people who've been ashamed of and hidden their sexuality for so long, and have finally come out, it makes sense that they feel a certain kind of pride. Not pride as a sense of accomplishment, but pride as in a lack of shame. And for some people to feel that they really aren't ashamed, they have to be flamboyant about it--perhaps they feel that they have to be visibly gay in public to really be "out". This is certainly an emotional rather than rational response, but it sort of makes sense.

John Craig said...

Rebecca --
I understand what you're saying, and I suppose it does make sense from an emotional point of view.